PARIS: French Open danger-man Juan Martin Del Potro shrugged off a knee injury scare as well as sweltering 30-degree heat to reach the French Open second round yesterday.
The ninth-seeded Argentine, who made the semi-finals in 2009 before going on to claim the US Open title, saw off Spanish veteran Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1 in three hours. He will tackle France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin for a place in the last-32.
Del Potro endured a bumpy ride on Philippe Chatrier Court when his troublesome left knee, which had already been taped, required further strapping at the end of the marathon second set.
“I was struggling a little, but I had some good treatment which allowed me to finish the match,” said Del Potro. “Roland Garros is a physically demanding tournament. I have to keep that in mind as I am playing well at the moment.”
Also making the last-64 on the opening day was 2003 winner Juan Carlos Ferrero, who defeated French wildcard Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Australian sixth-seed Stosur, the 2010 runner-up, took just over an hour to see off the 68th-ranked Baltacha 6-4, 6-0.
Joining Stosur in the next round was Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, who recorded a comfortable win over Croatian Mirjana Lucic 6-1, 6-3.
Ana Ivanovic registered 27 winners as she breezed past Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino 6-1, 6-1.
Big guns Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams will all play their respective first-rounds matches today.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2012.